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Springing forward into a new season of sports

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Heritage's girls soccer team runs out onto the field after beating Pinecrest in penalty kicks 4-2 to win the 4A state title last spring. Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly
Heritage's girls soccer team runs out onto the field after beating Pinecrest in penalty kicks 4-2 to win the 4A state title last spring. Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Time flies and March is already here. A new season brings a new variety of sports to watch as the weather starts to warm up.

Let’s take a look at what our local spring sports teams can provide for us this year.

First, we’ll recognize last year’s conference winners in each sport. Both Heritage and Wakefield won NAC 6 conference titles in two sports last spring. The Huskies took home the prize in girls soccer and softball, while the Wolverines paved the way in boys lacrosse and boys tennis.

Not only did the Huskies win the conference championship in girls soccer, but they made it all the way to the 4A state championship and won the title by beating Pinecrest 2-1 in a penalty shootout.

Heritage took down Pinecrest by making four penalty kicks, while the Patriots only made two.

Heritage’s girls soccer team is the first athletic program in school history to win a bracket-style state title. Heritage’s cheerleading team has won multiple state championships and Anthony Brito won an individual state championship in wrestling.

Head coach Scott Sloan, who has been at Heritage since the beginning, is coming back this year to help the girls go for a repeat. They are well on their way after back-to-back shutout road wins at Athens Drive Feb. 27 and at Millbrook Tuesday.

Heritage’s other spring conference title was in softball. The Huskies went 194 overall and 9-1 in NAC 6 conference play, with their only loss coming to Wake Forest.

Heritage went all the way to the 4A east regional series, but it lost to Hoggard in back-to-back games May 21 and 23. The Huskies lost four seniors from last year’s squad, but the girls are back on track with a 21-1 victory over Broughton Monday.

Wakefield’s boys tennis team was its best spring athletic program last year. The Wolverines went undefeated in the regular season, taking down all of their NAC 6 conference opponents to win the conference title.

However, Wakefield experienced its first loss of the season with a 5-0 sweep against Broughton in the 4A state playoffs. The Wolverines said goodbye to five seniors, but most of their starters will return this year to see if they can keep their undefeated regular season streak going.

Wakefield also won the NAC 6 conference title in boys lacrosse with an overall record of 13-2 and an undefeated 8-0 record in conference play. However, the Wolverines lost to Cardinal Gibbons 13-7 in the second round of the 4A state playoffs.

Corinth Holders won the rest of the spring sports conference titles, including baseball and boys golf. Heritage finished second in baseball and Wake Forest came in second in boys golf. East Chapel Hill won the conference title in girls lacrosse. Wake Forest finished behind them.

As for Franklin Academy, its girls soccer team had a strong performance last year. Under the guidance of former boys soccer coach John Crosland, the Lady Patriots went undefeated in the regular season and won the North Central conference title.

Franklin Academy made it all the way to the 1A state championship game, but lost to Union Academy 2-1 in overtime. The Patriots will try to make it back with Crosland leading the squad once more.

Franklin Academy’s boys golf team also won its sixth conference championship in a row last year. The Patriots shot a team score of 171 at Zebulon Country Club to win first place for the ninth time that year, finishing the regular season undefeated.

Franklin Academy’s average team score was 170, which was 17 strokes ahead of second-place Falls Lake Academy.

There you have it. I think that’s a pretty good summary of what happened last spring. Let’s see if anyone else will rise to the challenge this season. I will keep you all updated on the biggest sports news of the area.

Marty Simpkins is the sports editor of The Wake Weekly. He can be reached at 919-424-1779 or